Actor Koji Yakusho is one of the 674 people and 20 groups to be decorated by the government for their contributions to the arts, academia and sport, the government said Saturday.
Yakusho, 56, whose real name is Koji Hashimoto, is listed as one of the 25 people to be awarded the Medal with Purple Ribbon.
The actor’s international profile rose after he appeared in the U.S. films “Memoirs of a Geisha” in 2005 and “Babel” in 2006.
The other recipients include cartoonist Moto Hagio, 62, novelist Noboru Tsujihara, 66, composer-pianist Ichiro Nodaira, 58, and Akihiko Tanaka, 57, a political scientist who currently heads the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
The spring decorations list also includes eight men to be awarded the Medal with Red Ribbon, which is given to those who have contributed to saving lives.
They include former firefighter Shu Suzuki, 55, of Ofunato, Iwate Prefecture, who rescued three people from the tsunami spawned by the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, and Kota Yasuda from Kitakyushu, who rescued a woman from a fire. Yasuda, 25, is the youngest of the spring decoration recipients.
The Medal with Blue Ribbon, which is given to recognize efforts to advance the public good, will be awarded to 444 individuals. Among them are Toshiro Nakamura, 64, from Oda, Shimane Prefecture, who runs a company that produces artificial breasts and limbs, and Teruko Saiki, 83, a doctor who has provided medical services for more than 30 years to day-laborers at a clinic in Yokohama.
The Medal with Yellow Ribbon, given in recognition of professional devotion and dedication, will be given to 186 people. Among them are Tatsuya Umeki, 69, from the town of Yamada, Iwate Prefecture, and Koichiro Myoken, 70, from Marugame, Kagawa Prefecture.
Umeki has devoted time to growing shiitake, while Myoken contributed to establishing the Sanuki brand of beef produced in Kagawa Prefecture, which used to be called Sanuki.
Twenty groups and 11 individuals will receive the Medal with Green Ribbon, which is awarded to recognize social service activities.
The groups include one based in Fukuoka Prefecture called Fukuoka shuwa-no-kai, which has provided sign language interpretation services for people with hearing disabilities for nearly 40 years.